Organized Simplicity Chapter Six “A Gathering Place.”

“…it’s still not easy to keep a well-organized, efficient, peaceful home when you’ve got three-foot mess makers running around.  Or six-foot mess makers, for that matter.”

AMEN, Tsh.  Amen.

We need to accept the stage of life we’re in, but STILL “keep up the house.”  (Sigh- can’t we just get a “buy” for a few years?)

Tsh uses a home management notebook to keep herself organized- it sounds impressive!  It acts as a daily reference for tasks, and depending on your needs could be a binder, a notebook, a folder, or an expanding file.  Here’s what’s inside this Home Management Notebook.

  1. A daily docket- the “to do list on steroids.”  Tasks, meals, appointments, notes, and inspirational quotes.  It’s a skeleton of her day, but still flexible rather than listing out her day in 10-minute intervals.  She fills it out the night before, and a sample to print and fill out can be found at her website (>downloads)  She makes sure to list the top three “Most Important Tasks” that must be accomplished (MIT) and she’ll feel successful if those three things are done.
  2. A cleaning checklist- she keeps this in a plastic sleeve and marks it off with a dry erase marker as tasks get done during the week/month.
  3. Monthly calendars- she prints out monthly views of her Google calendar, for when she’s away from the computer and to jot down appointments and meal plans.
  4. A master grocery list- an Excel list of the staples she wants to keep in her kitchen, and she marks off what needs to be purchased.
  5. Monthly budget- a print out of the monthly budget from the computer.
  6. Master project list- a blank sheet to jot down ideas of things to do, i.e. make slip covers, buy a specific book
  7. Work ideas- like the project list, but work-related
  8. Babysitter’s Guide- cell phone numbers, bedtime routines, what’s off limits, emergency information, etc.
  9. Things for the kids- web sites and ideas of things to do.  Also, printed articles that relate to parenting.
  10. Gift ideas- things she wants (a quick list for when somebody asks), and things she wants to give
  11. Personal notes- inspiring quotes, goals, and prayers to think about and meditate on.

She advocates this (impressive) notebook as a way to have all of your home management tools in one place, and to include what YOU need.  Do what works for you- scribble in a notebook, or keep it online!  It helps if it looks nice, and you should adjust it till it meets your needs.  She likes to add a pocket at the back for loose papers.

A lot of this I already do with my iPhone thingy (thingy…because it’s an iPhone yes, but I don’t have it hooked up to a data OR a cellular network.  So it’s a PDA?  An iPod Touch?  Something my kids desperately want to play with, and keeps me sane during midnight feedings with the baby?)  I’m curious what it would be like to have my entire brain in a notebook so I didn’t miss things.  Having a master grocery list, updated with my actual pantry contents and needs, would be incredible- how often do I come home from a MAJOR Costco run and find out I already had two gallons of oil in addition to what I purchased, and I’m totally out of brown sugar?


2 Responses

  1. That keeping it up is the problem isn’t it.

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